Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch and former head coach Marcelo Bielsa have given rave reviews about Sunderland new boy Joe Gelhardt. The Whites youngster has signed a season-long loan deal with the Black Cats, after featuring 18 times for Leeds so far this season.
The 20-year-old has been used sparingly under Marsch this season, but is highly thought of at Elland Road. After bursting on the the scene with Wigan back in 2019, Leeds wasted no time in capturing the youngster's signing.
Gelhardt has found himself somewhat unfortunate to be on the fringes, given the fine form of Spaniard Rodrigo, who is Leeds' top goal scorer this season. Joffy, as he's known among the Whites fanbase, impressed Marsch during their mid-season friendlies as part of the World Cup break.
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“Well, I think first of all, he's [Gelhardt] had a really good last four weeks,” Marsch said when asked about the youngster after the City clash. “We had an individual meeting with him two days ago and we told him that.
“I thought today when he came into the match, he was dangerous and he was effective and he was intensive and he had a real positive effect in the match. So I’m pleased with him and it was really unlucky for him, specifically in the one that slides past the second post that he wasn't able to come up with a goal.”
Former boss, Bielsa, was the man who gave Gelhardt his Premier League debut and is a also a big fan. The Whites forward wasted no time in becoming a fan favourite for his tenacity on the pitch, a quality Bielsa says not many players have.
Speaking after the win over Burnley at Elland Road back in January 2022, Bielsa said: "For the expectations that the fans have of his game and his possibilities and his resources, evidently he is a player who has connected in a big way with the Leeds fans. That’s a characteristic not many players have, he generates hope and expectation. He increases the enthusiasm of fans and there are not many players who do that.
“He is a player who is able to resolve a lot of things in the play with his individual qualities. I can’t be precise but I can’t think of many 20-year-olds in the Premier League who come from the academy. When a player establishes himself at that age it is because he has shown he is very good.”
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